Roasted Tomato and Roasted Garlic Soup
I went to the farmer’s market and came home with about 20 pounds of tomatoes – all seconds. What a delight to have so many beautiful tomatoes of all sizes, colors, and stripes! And what fun to take the afternoon to turn these beauties into a delicious soup!
With just a few simple and healthy ingredients, this wonderful and healthy soup is easy to make. It just takes time.
To find out more about how tomatoes, garlic, thyme, and oregano help to prevent cancer, see these earlier posts:
about 20 pounds fresh tomatoes
Extra virgin olive oil
12 Monamifood Smooth and Mild Garlic Flavor Cubes
Freshly ground black pepper and a little salt, to taste
A few extras, if desired:
- A drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
- A few tender tips of fresh thyme
- A squeeze of fresh lemon – very nice, especially in cold soup!
Prepare the tomatoes for cooking:
- Large size tomatoes – Using a sharp serrated edge knife (cooking gear recommendation at end of this post), remove the spoiled sections of each tomato. Cut each tomato in half (through the widest midpoint; not thru the stem). Separate the large tomato halves that feel soft from those that feel hard.
- Small and medium size tomatoes – Using a sharp serrated edge knife, remove the spoiled sections from each tomato. This will result in odd shaped pieces. That’s perfectly OK.
Take two, full-size baking sheet pans (with lips on all 4 sides) and line each one with a silicone baking mat, such as such as a Silpat mat. (See cooking gear recommendation at end of this post.) If you do not have a silicone baking mat, that’s OK, you can use parchment paper or just use a silicone pastry brush and brush the baking sheet with olive oil before you place the tomatoes on it.
As your oven and the number of baking pans you have permits, fill each silicone lined baking pan with either:
- Large and hard tomato halves, face down
- Large and soft tomato halves face up
- When tomatoes are placed cut side down, they roast AND steam at the same time, which helps large and hard tomatoes cook faster. When placed face up, the tomatoes just roast, which probably gives a slightly better flavor, but I decided to opt for faster cooking which also takes less energy.
- If you need to reuse the same pan to roast a second batch of tomatoes, be sure to wipe the surface of the baking sheet and the silicone mat with a paper towel to remove the burnt, or soon-to-burnt, bits that will end up tarnishing the taste of the soup.
Generously grease all of the exposed surfaces of the tomatoes with olive oil. (I just poured about a tablespoon of olive oil — per baking sheet — into the palm of my hand and rubbed the exposed surfaces.)
Start preheating the oven to 450 degrees F. (Note: No need to waste energy waiting for the oven to preheat; just pop your baking sheets into the oven as soon as they’re ready to go.)
- Place the baking pan with the large tomato halves on the top rung of the oven.
- Place the baking pan with the small and medium tomatoes on the shelf that’s two rungs below the top rung.
Here is the timing that worked for me:
- Hard tomato halves, face down on the top rung of the oven — about 60 minutes or until they looked like this:
- Soft tomato halves, face up on the top rung of the oven — about 40 minutes or until they looked like this:
- Small and medium size pieces of tomatoes when cooked at the same time as the large tomatoes — about 40 minutes, but they were on the third rung of the oven, underneath a pan with the large tomatoes.
When the roasted tomatoes have cooled down enough to handle, use your fingers to slip off the peels; discard the peels. As needed, use a sharp serrated edge knife to cut off the hard stem ends and cut the large tomato halves into a few smaller pieces. Discard the stem ends.
Place the cooked, peeled, and stem end-removed tomatoes into a large non-aluminum pot. (Aluminum reacts with tomatoes.) Pour the juices from the baking pans into the pot.
Here’s what my 20 pounds of tomatoes cooked down to!
Using an immersion blender (cooking gear recommendation at end of this post) chop/blend the tomato pieces so that you get a smooth yet chunky mixture. Heat the mixture over medium heat for about 10 minutes or until steam starts to rise from the pot. During this time, stir the pot occasionally with a sturdy silicone spatula and scrape the bottom of the pot so as to prevent burning. When the steam starts to rise from the pot, turn off the heat. (Cooking briefly helps preserve the fresh taste of this soup.)
Add 12 Roasted Garlic Flavor Cubes (mine were made in a silicone mini-muffin pan and were only ½ inch high) to the pot and then stir to dissolve and mix the roasted garlic into the soup. Using a pair of sharp kitchen shears, cut the fresh herbs finely and let them fall directly into the soup. Stir to mix.
Note: I don’t think you have to measure the herbs, just use as much as you like. This photo will give you an idea of how much I used:
I did not cook the soup any more at this point. I just cover the pot and let the herbs meld into the soup for about 15 minutes.
- To serve hot, heat and serve as is or mixed with a little fresh squeezed lemon juice. with a little olive oil drizzled over each serving and a few tender tips of fresh thyme for garnish.
- To serve cold, refrigerate the soup in small glass bowls (so it can cool down quickly) and then, if you like, mix in some fresh squeezed lemon juice. Serve garnished with olive oil and fresh thyme, if desired.
- This soup freezes well.
Note: I do not have a relationship with any of the companies whose products I mention on this blog. I simply want you to know about my favorite cooking and food related products are so that you can have a more successful cooking experience.
- My favorite serrated edge knife that’s great for tomatoes and other soft fruits and veggies with skins is Ergo Chef’s “Knuckle Sandwich 5 ½ inch utility knife – ‘Draggon Dagger’ with Fork on Tip”. I had a hard time overcoming the look of this knife, but it works so well…that I forget what it looks like! Some of you may even like its looks! If you decide to buy it, talk with the folks on the phone first; they’re very helpful. Have them explain to you how to hold the knife. Grasping a knife the right way, makes a big difference.
- Silicone baking mat, such as such as a Silpat mat.
- Immersion blender: Phillips 4 Speed Hand-Held Blender . Only the metal parts of this immersion blender touch the food.
A few other notes….
- If you would love to make this soup — or another healthy soup like this one — but you just do not have the time…you can buy great freshly made, seasonal, salt-free, soups (made with as many organic or pesticide free foods as possible) from 100 Bowls of Soup which are carried at the Organic Butcher of McLean in McLean, Virginia. Also, when the farmer’s markets in Northern Virginia are open, you may find Katharine Mardirosian, the mom who started 100 Bowls of Soup, offering tastes of her delicious high-quality soups at the markets, including the one in Reston, VA.
Enjoy and be healthy!